Snowmass Town Council vets possible tenants for Building 6 | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass Town Council vets possible tenants for Building 6

The view from the top floor of the Limelight Hotel Snowmass, which is currently being built, also shows the foundation of the future Building 6.

As Snowmass Village continues its search to find a suitable tenant for its "community-use" designed Building 6, the town is down to about eight proposals as well as the option still to sell.

At a Nov. 6 meeting, the Town Council and staff reviewed 12 letters of interest from nonprofits, organizations and individuals throughout Pitkin County.

Upon vetting each idea, many of which offered some educational component — including a STEAM center, digital media studio or library service — the town eliminated four proposals.

Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler said she considered three criteria while reading through the letters: vitality, finances and ability to collaborate.

"A sense of significant vitality, from early morning as the skiers come, to late at night," Butler said, noting, "and not just vitality for adults, but a high emphasis on children and adolescents."

Snowmass Town Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk echoed the mayor's sentiment on the need to attract "a wide range, from little kids to old people."

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The financial piece of the puzzle remains in question, as the cost to finish the building will likely depend on the future tenant's programming needs and use. As part of the project's initial approval, Base Village developers agreed to construct and donate the building to the town. Upon completion, the town will not be responsible for the structure's capital and maintenance expenses, according to its most recent memo from Town Manager Clint Kinney and his assistant, Travis Elliot.

Positioned with a few other Base Village projects, such as the Limelight Hotel, developers expect to complete Building 6 next November, prior to the 2018-19 ski season. Hence, the Town Council's sense of urgency after the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies on Sept. 5 declined to partner with the town to curate a discovery and climate center inside the 8,701-square-foot building.

Butler said that if charged with raising a "capital campaign of significant amount of money" to operate within the space — she estimated $5 to $10 million — "It's not going to happen (for a nonprofit) by 2018."

Former Snowmass Village Mayor Jeff Tippett, as a member of the public during the meeting, advised the council to "take the money and run."

"I understand your desire to create vitality in Base Village, (but) it's really not your responsibility to create vitality there," Tippett said. "Your responsibility is to come up with a reasonable financial plan for the town and not to burden the town for years and years and years in the future because of a failed attempt."

While listing Building 6 for sale is still on the table, the town council did not discuss that in further detail at the meeting. Rather, the elected officials directed town staff to follow up with the eight prospective tenants — Aspen Center for Environmental Studies; Aspen Brewing Co.; Aspen Science Center; East West Partners; Grassroots Community Network and Colorado Audio Visual and Design; the Pitkin County Library Board; Snowmass Discovery and the Town of Snowmass Parks, Recreation and Trails Department — to learn more about each group's proposal and financial needs.

As of Tuesday, town staff had met with Snowmass Discovery, Grassroots Community Network and Colorado Audio Visual and Design, East West Partners and the Pitkin County Library Board, according to Elliot.

Despite Aspen Brewing Co. signing a lease at a new taproom location in Aspen after submitting its letter of interest to Snowmass, Elliot said Tuesday he is scheduled to meet with the group "sometime next week."

Duncan Clauss, owner of Aspen Brewing Co., could not be reached for comment by press time.

Snowmass town staff will update the council on these conversations at a meeting Dec. 4, when the elected officials also expect to revisit the notion of selling Building 6.

A final decision is not expected at this meeting, according to Elliot.

To view all 12 letters of interest regarding Building 6, visit: http://www.tosv.com/DocumentCenter/Index/147

erobbie@aspentimes.com

In other Snowmass Village news, the town council unanimously adopted the municipality’s 2018 budget at $31.8 million.

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